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M5 Rock: Mixing Work and Play | Interview with M5’s Pilar Candia

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The countdown has started and everyone is ready to rock at our customer appreciation event and birthday party on May 3 in New York City. As part of our series of interviews with participants in our M5 Rock Battle of the Bands program, I had a chance to chat with Pilar Candia, a member of our quality assurance team in Rochester. She plays the drums for the band “Second Best Charisma.” She told me a bit about how being in a band helped her overcome shyness and get to know more members of the team.

Why did you join the Battle of the Bands program?

I joined M5 as part of the Callfinity acquisition and hadn’t really had a chance to get to know very many people. I thought that joining a band would be a nice way to meet more of the team. I also wanted to learn an instrument and thought it would be great to be part of a group.

Did you have any music background before M5 Rock?

No. I had no music background at all.

Why did you choose the drums?

I was really open to any instrument, but thought that the drums would be cool and the easiest instrument to learn, but I guess I was wrong, they are actually pretty hard and if I mess up then everyone messes up because they all follow me. It makes it more difficult because I'm constantly worry about making mistakes.

What did you expect to learn from the program?

Of course, I expected to learn a lot about how to play the drums, but I also wanted to learn more about how to communicate and work as a team. It isn’t always easy to work with people you don’t know very well, so I hoped this experience would make that easier.

Were you afraid of being embarrassed?

Yes. I’m quite shy and I don’t really like being the center of attention. But, everyone was very supportive and after a couple of performances I started to feel better.

Did the program put you in contact with co-workers you didn’t know well before?

Yes. There is only one person in the band that I knew at all before. We now chat outside of the band. They are all fun, good people and I’m enjoying knowing them better.

What did you learn about them?

I learned a lot more about what others do in the company and have a better understanding about how all of the departments in the company fit together. Even though I don’t work directly with everyone, it is great to know more about what everyone does.

What did you learn about yourself?

Turns out, I’m not as shy as I thought.

What was the most difficult thing about the program?

Learning to work closely together. We also had to compromise and come to a consensus when it came to choosing our songs.

How do you feel about the upcoming event?

I’m nervous, but I’m sure I can do it. I asked my band mates to be ready to get help if I faint. Thinking of the large venue is scary, but exciting. I’m not focusing too much on winning the Battle of the Bands, I just want to preform and have fun. I think that most of us are in it for the fun more than just to win.

Do you think you will keep up with your instrument?

Yes. I will try.

Would you participate in something like this again?

Yes. I would do it again.

What do programs like this tell you about M5?

M5 cares about its employees and wants us to have fun and learn together. This was a great chance to work as a team to accomplish something, while still being able to play. None of us had any experience in music before, so this has been a challenge, but a good one.